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Andrea Mitchell Reports

News/Business. Interviews with political figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.

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Michigan 23, America 14, Us 9, Craig 7, Karen 5, Maxine 4, Washington 4, Msnbc 4, Carl Levin 2, Jonathan 2, Campbell 2, Joe Watkins 2, Ri Corp. 2, Lee 2, Nbc 2, Latisse 2, Obama 2, Craig Melvin 2, United States 2, Kristen 2,
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  MSNBC    Andrea Mitchell Reports    News/Business. Interviews with political  
   figures with host Andrea Mitchell. New.  

    September 5, 2011
    10:00 - 11:00am PDT  

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the crowd in detroit, michigan, singing "respect." the president looking for some of that today as the jobs debate kicking off in earnest there. president obama set to deliver live remarks at a labor day event in detroit minutes from now. he will be laying the ground work for his major address to a joint session of congress thursday night when the president reaches the podium there. we will bring you those remarks live. we expect him to begin speaking in about 15 minutes. >> i'm craig melvin. we are keeping our eye on the weather situation in the gulf. again, just minutes away from president obama's speech in the motor city. he is headed to detroit, michigan. we are expecting the president to celebrate the american workforce while actually talking about the u.s. economy. all of this just days before that major speech on jobs and the economy. nbc's kristen welker joinings us live from the white house this afternoon. kristen? >> reporter: hi there, craig. that's right we expect the president to speak momentarily.
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white house officials tell me he'll be talking about the importance to have middle class in terms of strengthening the middle class as part of this recovery. we expect him to put pressure on democrats and republicans to get behind that big jobs plan that he's going to unveil on thursday. we don't know exactly what's going to be in that plan. i can tell you that some of the things have have been considered are investing in infrastructure, extending the payroll tax cuts as well as giving tax breaks to companies who hire new workers. as you mentioned he's going to be spooking before a crowd of thousands today. union workers this is of course the president's constituency. a lot of them haven't been thrilled with the president lately. they weren't happy with what happened during the debt ceiling debate. felt as though he didn't create enough stimulus. they are going to be watching this speech very closely. a lot of union leaders pressuring the president to go
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big when he delivers that speech on thursday. we'll have to wait until thursday to see if he does in fact go big, but of course it's a difficult backdrop the president is speaking on this labor day. we got a dismal jobs report on friday that showed that the economy didn't add any new jobs during the month of august and that the unemployment rate remains stuck at 9 .1%. and then if you look at the jobless rate in michigan it actually gets worse. the unemployment rate there 10.9% and then in detroit alone look at that, it tops 15%. so the folks there in michigan today certainly want to hear from the president how he's going to create more jobs and again a lot of pressure on him to go big when he delivers that speech on thursday, craig. >> unemployment in detroit about 16%. again that figure does not include the underemployed and there are thought to be a significant number of those.
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kristen this is the first time here as of late that the president has gone to an area where unemployment is considerably higher than the national average. do we know or can we speculate what he might say to this particular group that's been different from what we heard him say at some other stops? >> reporter: we can expect him to focus on jobs. he will probably talk about the importance of extending the payroll tax cut. he might talk about the importance of passing some trade agreements. he will be focussing on jobs. he was in patterson new jersey over the weekend. a high unemployment rate there as well. this is really the central focus of this administration right now. as you know, a lot of the gop candidates have already come out swinging accusing the president of not doing enough to stimulate job growth. the white house has pushed back on those types of criticisms saying that this administration has created about 2.4 million jobs, but they say this is a
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difficult recession, that they're going to be head winds. the pressure is on in this speech today as you mention, but certainly on thursday for the president to deliver some new ideas. some ideas that might help stimulate the economy. the question is whether the ideas be able to pass through the republican led house. if they don't ark loft analysts are saying the big jobs plan might become the president's platform. when we listened to the president speak today one thing to watch out for are any signs of what he might be taking about on thursday. we'll be listening very closely to hear if we get a glimpse of what might be discussed thursday, craig. >> kristen welker from the white house for us on this labor day afternoon. thank you. >> reporter: thanks, craig. fire crews in texas have managed to put out the fast moving blazes that killed a woman and her daughter yesterday in the eastern part of the state. dozens of infor noahs continue to burn including one southeast of the capital. more than 300 homes have been
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destroyed. there are some 17,000 acres scorched there. lee is weakened but trudging inland packing heavy rainfall. water rescues have been made in jackson, mississippi, which got more than a half a foot of rain. flash flood warnings extend into alabama and the florida panhandle as well. the weather channel's jim cantore has more from blocksy, mississippi. >> reporter: finally some good news here. the sun is out. it feels so nice and wonderful. it's been windy and rainy and awful to be out here on the beach with ten inches of rain here. this newfound sun has got a few folks out on the beach and even out in the water. the surf's rough. i don't rem people going in the surf. there's only so much you can hold back if you came to the water to get in the water. people are going to want to do that. i caution everybody sta stay out of that water. be careful. here's the deal with the winds
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changing direction a little bit today across louisiana, across mississippi into alabama we will be much improved in terms of this high tide flooding that we've been having. this is the situation in waveland. you can see it here along beach boulevard during the time of high tide with winds changing direction this afternoon. tomorrow morning's high tide cycle will certainly not be as bad. oort way lee is going to stick around. an enhanced tornado threat across georgia and alabama including birmingham and metro pal tan areas. there's the flood risk that will probably linger through a good part of the week. texas continues to burn. a lot of impacts from lee and what's left of it. craig, back to you. >> jim, thank you. back to politics now. again, we are expecting to hear from president obama somewhere around the 1:15 mark. he is in detroit, michigan, addressing a group of union folks there when the president speaks we will of course bring it to you live. president obama spent the
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holiday weekend putting the finishing touches on that major jobs proposal. all of which which is going to be unveiled before a joint session of congress this thursday night. the president expected to among other things announce infrastructure projects, free trade agreements and payroll tax cuts as part of that plan. there's still a whole heck of a lot that we do not know. perhaps the biggest question is what will republicans actually agree to. joining me now karen hunter and joe watkins. thank you so much for being here. what will republicans go for? what will they see in a jobs plan and say that's a great idea? >> smag that's different not just the same old same old. it's great to have some tax credits. it's great to talk about maybe extending some benefits. it's nice to talk about infrastructure. you've got to invigorate the public-private sector. you've got to create jobs. you couldn't do it by beating up the job creators.
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the president has to steer away from talk that beats up job creators. >> lang is going to be just as importance as the substance? >> absolutely. >> you mentioned different in this jobs plan. an example of a different idea, different proposal something tangible that the gop would sign off on. >> well, of course he's talked about making sure the bush tax cuts go away in 2012. that's not necessarily a good thing for a lot of small business owners who are dependent upon continued bush era tax cuts to have money to invest and to spend and to put people back to work. he's got to do something -- i argue that the president didn't need to have a big major address before both chambers of congress if he wasn't going to say something new and different. you've got 9 .1% unemployment. that's over 16 fernt for a lot of americans. unless you have something new to say. for instance, i'm going to do this with the private sector to create this many jobs and result in this many -- no squloobs
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month by the way in the august jobs report. >> first time since 1945. i saw you nodding. >> i agree with that. that last part that he needs to say very different, very specific, he needs to say something very strong. i don't agree that there's anything he can say that the remembers are going to agree with. >> you think it's futile? >> no. he needs to forget about these boss yos who are not playing pool with him anyway. a lot of presidents are frustrated. if he comes out strong and says this is what i'm going to do, you are with me. >> he needs to rise above politics it's not about being against republicans. >> does he joe? >> absolutely. >> the president tried that with the debt ceiling debate.
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we all saw how well that worked out. do we want at this particular point instead of someone that rises above politics do we want someone who who gets in the mud and roughs it up with the best of them? >> you want somebody that can say i can build consensus and get this done with the american people. >> but joe -- >> you're hoping and praying that whatever the president says on thursday night means that you're going to be work shortly. >> this is labor day. it's poignant that we're talking about this. a day created to celebrate people who are working that we're having this problem right now. if the president's going to be successful, he has to as craig said get down and dirty in the mud and put together a solid plan that includes among other things also a big homeownership piece. >> you get no points if you
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don't win. if you get no point ifs you propose something about jobs. >> i want to talk about the definition of win. i'm glad you brought that up. thursday night come friday morning you guys will probably be here. >> real simple, 200,000 jobs next month. >> you -- but let's talk about expectations on thursday. because how are we going to judge the president on his speech on thursday. >> he gives a great speech. this is one of the best speakers that the country has ever seen if not the best. he's marvelous in front of a crowd. he's marvelous with words. he's a marvelous statesman. but what the american people need right now is not a great speech. not one that brings them to tears, but one that says we're going to get this done. i have an answer and solution to get this thing done. the people in detroit don't want to hear just another great speech. they don't want to have another photo op. they want something to put them back to work.
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>> you're right. the president had several plans. the home remodification plan was excellent to get people back into a place to maneuver their money. but to sit here and say the republicans are not going to poo poo on it -- >> i love it when you use poo poo as a verb. quick break here karen and joe are going to stay with us. today's speech by the president just a lead up to the president's big address on thursday before that joint session of congress. that speech will happen at 7:00 thursday right here on msnbc 7:00 eastern time. don't forget we are waiting on the president to celebrate labor day in detroit, michigan, to preview that speech. he'll be previewing his ideas for job creation as well. it looks like folks are starting to sit down there. we're going to take a quick break. when we come back more from karen and joe. we'll also hear from the president of the united states. don't go anywhere.
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rvelg sarah palin the headliner at a tea party rally today in new hampshire. she also took a veiled shot at mitt romney. >> it was the pea party movement that shifted the entire fiscal debate in washington, d.c. and now we're seeing more and more folks realize the strength of this grassroots movement. and they're wanting to be involved. i say right on, better late than never for some of these candidates especially. >> she did stop at one point as the crowd started cheering run sarah run. but she didn't say when she might announce. she has previously promised to do so by the end of september.
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>> i appreciate your encouragement. again, any moment now president obama is expected to talk jobs at a teach in detroit, michigan. it comes a week after a congressional black caucus jobs fair led thousands to fill a detroit auditorium to express their frustration with the president. i want to bring in a political analyst. this speech expected to be a preview to the thursday joint address of congress. what are you going to be listening for from the president this afternoon? >> i'm going to be listening for hints of what we're going to hear when he talks to the whole country on thursday night. it's flot going to be close to the come complete package. he needs to make some news on thursday. he needs to use that element of surprise, that drama for something big. so i'm not expecting that we're going to get everything. but we will get some indications. i think we'll get the theme
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which is, you know, in two words jobs first. and he's essentially going to throw down the gauntlet to the republicans and say here's my jobs first program. the state of the voters if you want this, if you want jobs, you vote obama. this is going to be essentially a campaign speech of some fashion. if you don't want this, if you want us to just cut regulations and lower taxes as a way of creating jobs, you know, then maybe take a look at the republicans. but the key kind of wedge in this, craig, is there will also be some tax cuts particularly an extension of the payroll tax cut in this program to put more money in people's pockets so you can increase demand. >> we keep hearing talk about extending the payroll tax cuts. do you think that thursday we
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will hear something that does surprise us? something we're all like, wow, i haven't thought about that, mr. president. do you think there will be an aha moment thursday night? >> i think there's better be or he has much less sense of drama of the moment and the need to offer something new than i think he does. i'm pretty sure and i've heard rumblings from people inside the administration that will will be a couple of surprises. how big they are. how much they make an a ha moment, i don't know. the one that i'm looking for that i think would be the most dramatic would be a direct hiring program where they essentially say to younger americans come to these locations and sign up. and we're not going to wait for the private sector to put you to work. we're going to do what franklin roosevelt did and put you to work directly whether they do
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that through am,ri corp. or department of labor programs, i don't know. that's something that was very out of fashion. they did not tackle that in 2009. it goes back to the new deal and fdr. i think it would be electrifying if he came across with a direct hiring jobs program. >> i want to bring in joe and karen again. now let's take a listen all three of you guys, we're moments away from the president. let's take a listen. this is the cbc jobs fair in detroit. the president got a lot of pressure from both lawmakers and locals. listen to what happened. >> we want to give him every opportunity. but our people are hurting. the unemployment is unconsciousable. we don't know what the strategy is. we don't know why on this trip that he's in the united states now he's not in any black communities. we don't know that. when you let us know it is time to let go, we'll let go. >> let go!
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>> california congresswoman maxine waters speaking at the town hall last week. that's probably the most popular sound bite from maxine waters in the history of her political career. we've seen it 40 or 50 times in the past week alone. is it just coincidence that the president is in detroit, michigan, today? >> he knows he needs to be there especially after that kind of response from the people in the crowd to what maxine waters had to say and that kind of frustration from the congressional black caucus where his rock solid support is supposed to be. he's got to be in detroit. he'd better say something. people don't just want to hear sweet words. they want to see some movement. >> what can he -- >> say something to translates into jobs. it's got to be not just public sector jobs, but private sector jobs. >> let's be clear congresswoman maxine waters was doing some
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posturing and a whole lot of theater. the amens that rock solid split has always been a little iffy. i'm looking at where was your jobs plan? unemployment has been high in the black community a lot longer than obama's been in office. >> that's been the knock against some of these other black lawmakers who have been so outspoken and so critical of the president. unemployment in the black community this isn't a new thing. >> exactly. they're jumping on the bandwagon and kicking somebody when they're down. please. >> we don't think the president would be in detroit, michigan, today had it not been -- >> i think it's a great place. he's a great politician. i think that he's smart to be in detroit, michigan. he's speaking to his base. his base is not happy right now. he has to go there. >> this is not the first time he's been in detroit. i contend that detroit was already on that list.
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he just hadn't made it there yet. >> let's take a quick break. when we come back, the president of the united states should be at the podium in detroit, michigan. our friend johnathon is standing by as well. the secretary of labor as well. when we come back, the president should be speaking. should be speaking. >> and our teachers -- the man you've become. a you learned something along the way. about the world. and yourself. ♪ this is the age of knowing what you're made of. and knowing how to get things done. so, why would you let something like erectile dysfunction get in your way? isn't it time you talked to your doctor about viagra? 20 million men already have. with every age comes responsibility. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain, as it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects may include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours.
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me, i've got a plan. fred he uh... fred what is your plan? do i look like i have a plan? not really. [ female announcer ] only flood insurance covers floods. for a free brochure, call the number on your screen. president obama expected to talk jobs in the motor city. that speech scheduled for 1:15. they're running a few minutes late. we expect the president to celebrate labor day there in detroit in just moments. i want to bring in our msnbc political contributor johnathon alter right now. let's talk about the backdrop of detroit, michigan, is that the best place for the president to be making this speech today? >> certainly if he wants to talk to organized labor. it's a shrinking, dramatically
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shrinking part of the american labor force. but some good things have been going on in michigan. there's a lot of interesting battery plants that have opened. some green chutes. things have been terrible there for many years. but i think it's still the center of organized labor in this country. it's a place where some good things have been happening. it's also a place for him to talk about drop some hints about how he's going to push for public sector employees to get money from washington into the state governments to prevent big layoffs. so part of the challenge now is not just adding new jobs, craig, but it's preventing more layoffs which states are faced with because of their own budget crunch. >> we've got joe watkins and karen here as well. you guys, one of you mentioned this earlier.
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i thought it was a point that i want to bring back up. the idea if this doesn't work out for the president, the jobs plan that this could become his platform for re-election. is that what we think happens? >> i think so. >> we don't think anything comes of this? we think this thursday noorgt's speech is just that. there won't be any concrete plan? >> i don't have any faith in congress. joe, you have faith that this congress is going to get behind the president even if he puts out something that is brilliant that will get people working again? >> i think republicans will support any kind of an idea that is brilliant and thoughtful and puts people back to work and not just public sector based. if it's private sector based for permanent jobs i think republicans are get behind it. if it's a way to insent five the jobs creators. >> you're talking about these republicans. ? zbler talking about house re-s. not senate republicans. they've become very different in the past couple of years. again, right now just moments
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away president obama expected to address a large crowd there in detroit, michigan. we got a shot of the crowd a short time ago. you can't have an event in detroit, michigan and not have aretha franklin opening. we heard from the queen of soul and secretary of lay dor hilda solis giving us a preview of what could be in the plan. just moments away from the president approaching the podium there. we understand that this lady is giving the introduction. when that does happen when the president takes the podium, sometimes these introductions can run a tad long. and looks like we've got one of the longer introductions here. >> go ahead. >> one of the things as i mention has fallen out of fashion this idea of public -- any public sector jobs, but people forget that there were a lot of republicans including john mccain who voted for am,ri
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corp. as part of the stimulus in 2009 they authorized 250,000 new amrri corp. jobs. that money was never actually provided by congress to -- >> i'm going to cut you off here. here comes president obama. hold that thought. we'll get you back on the other side. president obama in detroit, michigan on this labor day getting ready to address a large crowd there. [ cheers and applause ]
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thank you, detroit! thank you, michigan! oh, this is -- this is -- [ cheers and applause ] thank you. thank you everybody. it is good -- thank you, everybody. thank you. >> formore years.
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four more years. >> thank you. [ applause ] thank you, everybody. i can tell you're fired up. thank you for that introduction. thank you all for having me. it is good to be back in detroit. i'm glad i was able to bring a friend, a proud daughter of the teamsters. your secretary of labor hilda solis in the house. we're thrilled to be joined by so many other friends. i want to acknowledge first of
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all two of the finest senators in the country. carl levin and debbie stab gnaw in the house. outstanding members of the congressional delegation john conners, sandy levin, gary peters and hanson clark. the president of the metropolitan detroit central labor council our host, sandra williams. afl-cio president rich trumka. president of the michigan afl-cio, mark gaffeny. and some proud sons and daughters of michigan representing working people here and across the country. sciu president mary kay henry.
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teamster president jimmy hoffa. utility workers president mike langford. we are proud of them and we're proud of your congressional delegation who are working every single day with your state and local elected officials to create jobs and economic growth and prosperity here in michigan and all across the country. i am honored. we are honored to spend this day with you and your families. the working men and women of america. this day belongs to you. you deserve a little r and r. a little barbecue. a little grilling. because you've been working hard. you've been working hard to make
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ends meet. you've been working hard to build a better life for your kids. you've been working hard to build a better detroit. but that's not all i'm going to talk to you about. i also want to talk about the work you've been doing for decades. work to make sure the folks get an honest day's pay forrance honest day's work. work to make sure that families get a fair shake. the work you've done that helped build the greatest middle class that the world has ever known. i'm talking about the work that got us a 40-hour workweek and weekends and paid leave and pensions and the minimum wage and health insurance and social security and medicare, the corner stones of middle class security that's because of your
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work. [ applause ] if you want to know who helped lay these corner stones of an american middle class, you just have to look for the union label. that's the bedrock that this country is built on. hard work, responsibility, sacrifice. looking out for one another. giving everybody a shot. everybody a chance. to share in america's prosperity from the factory floor to the boardroom that's what unions are all about. and that's something that's worth keeping in mind today. we've come through a difficult decade. in which those values were all too often given short. we've gone through a decade
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where wealth was valued over week and greed was valued over responsibility. and the decks were too often stacked against ordinary folks in favor of the special interests. and everywhere i went while i was running for this office. i met folks who felt their economic security slipping away. men and women who are fighting harder and harder just to stay afloat. and that was even before the economic crisis hit. and that just made things even harder. so these are tough times for working americans. they're even tougher for americans who are look for work. a lot of them have been looking for work for a long time. a lot of folks have been looking for work for a long time here in detroit and all across michigan and all across the midwest and all across the country. so we've got a lot more work to do to recover fully from this recession. but i'm not satisfied just to
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get back to where we were before the recession. we've got to fully restore the middle class in america. and america cannot have a strong growing economy without a strong growing middle class and without a strong labor movement. that's the central challenge that we face in our country today. that's at the core of why i ran for president. that's what i've been fighting for since i've been president. everything we've done, it's been thinking about you. we said working folks deserved a break. within one month of me taking office, we signed into law the biggest middle class tax cut into history putting more money into your pockets. we said working folks shouldn't
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be taken advantage of so we passed tough reforms that ended the day of bailouts and stopped credit card companies from gauging you and set up a new consumer protection agency with one responsibility, sticking up for you. we said that if you're going to work hard all day to provide a better life for your kids, we're going to make sure that those kids get the best education possible. so we helped keep teachers on the job. we're reforming our public schools and investing in community colleges and job training programs. and we ended wasteful give aways that went to the big banks and used the savings to make college more affordable for millions of your kids. we said that every family in america should have affordable,
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accessible health care. we said you shouldn't be discriminated against because you have a preexisting condition. we said young adults without insurance should be able to stay on their parents plan. we got that done for you. here's what else we said, detroit. we said that american auto workers can once again build the best cars in the world. we made some tough choices necessary to succeed. now the big three are building the best cars in the world right here in detroit. right here in the midwest right here in the united states of america. i know it. i've seen it.
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i've been to gm's plant. i've been seen detroit prove the critics and the naysayers wrong. we didn't just stop there. we said american workers can manufacture the beth products in the world. so we invest in high tech manufacturing and we invest in clean energy. and right now there's an advanced battery industry taking root here in michigan that bierly existed before. -- barely existed before. [ applause ] half of the workers at one plant in detroit were unemployed before a new battery company came to town. and we're growing our exports so that more of the world buys products that are stamped with three simple words, made in america. so that's what we're fighting for, michigan. we're fighting for good jobs with good wages. we're fighting for health care when you get sick.
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we're fighting for a secure retirement even if you're not rich. we're fighting for the chance to give our kids a better life than we had. that's what we're doing to restore middle class and rebuild this economy is american way based on fairness and balance and the same set of rules for everybody from wall street to main street. [ applause ] an economy where hard work pays off. and gaming the system doesn't pay off and everybody's got a shot at the american dream. that's what we're fighting for. on thursday we're going to lay out a new plan to put americans back to work. i don't want to give everything away right here. i want y'all to tune in on
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thursday. but i'll give you just a little bit. we've got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding. we have got private companies with the equipment and the manpower to do the building. we've got more than one million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now. there is work to be done and there are workers ready to do it. labor's on board. business is on board. we just need congress to get on board. let's put america back to work. last year, last year we worked together. republicans and democrats to pass a payroll tax cut. and because of that this year the average family has an extra $1,000 in their pocket because
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of it. but that's going to expire in a few months. if we don't come together to extend it. and i think putting money back in the pockets of working families is the best way to get demand rising because that then means business is hiring. that means the government -- that means that the economy is growing. so i'm going to from pose ways -- propose ways to put america back to work that both parties can agree to. because i still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems and given the urgency of this moment, given the hardship that many people are facing, folks got to get together. but we're not going to wait for them. we're going to see if we've got
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some straight shooters in congress. we're going too see if congressional republicans will put country before party. we'll give them a plan and then say, do you want to create jobs and put our construction workers back to work rebuilding america. do you want to help our companies succeed? open up new markets for them to sell their products. you want -- you say you're the party of tax cuts, well then prove you'll fight just as hard for tax cuts for middle class families as you do for oil companies and the most affluent americans. show us what you got. the time for washington games is over. the time for action is now. no more manufactured crises. no more games. now is not the time for the people you sent to washington to worry about their jobs.
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now's the time for them to worry about your jobs. let me say a word about labor in particular. i know this is not going to be an easy time. i know it's not easy when some folks who have their sights trained on you. after all that unions have done to build and protect the middle class, you've got people trying to claim that you're responsible for the problems that middle class folks are facing. you've got some republicans saying you're the ones exploiting working families. imagine that. now the fact is our economy is stronger when workers are getting paid minimum wages and
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good benefits. our economy is stronger when we've got broad based growth and broad based prosperity. that's what unions have always been about, shared prosperity. i was on the plane and flying other here in carl levin was with me. he showed me a speech that harry truman had given on labor day 63 years ago right here in detroit. 63 years ago. and just goes to show that things haven't changed much, he talked about how you know, americans had voted in some folks many the congress who weren't very friendly to labor. and he pointed out that some working folks and even some union members voted these folks in. and now they were learning their lesson. and he pointed out that, and i'm
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quoting here, the gains of labor were not accomplished at the expense of the rest of the nation. labor's gains contributed to the nation's general prosperity. [ applause ] what was true back in 1948 is true in 2011. when working families are doing well. when they're getting a decent wage and they're getting decent benefits. that means they're good customers for businesses. that means they can buy the cars that you build. that means that you can buy the food from the farmers. that means you can buy from silicon valley. that you can creating prosperity when you share in posterity. so when i hear some of these folks trying to take collective bargaining rights away. trying to pass so-called right to work laws for private sector
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workers they really mean the right to work for less and less and less. when i hear some of this talk, i know this is not about economics. this is about politics. and i want everybody here to know as long as i'm in the white house, i'm going to stand up for collective bargaining. [ applause ] that's what we've reversed harmful decisions. that's why we passed the pair bay act to stop pay discrimination. what's why we appointed people who are fulfilling their responsibilities to make sure that the offices, factories and
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mine workers that they're safe on the job. and we're going to keep at it. because having a voice on the job and a chance to organize and a chance to negotiate for a fair day's pay after a hard day's work that is the right of every man and woman in america. not just the ceo in the corner office, but also the janitor who cleans that office after the ceo goes home. everybody's got the same right. and that's true for public employees as well. look, the recession had a terrible effect on state and local businesses. we all understand that. unions have recognized that and they have made tough concessions. in the private sector, we live in a more competitive global economy and unions like the uaw understand that workers have to work with management to revamp business models, to innovate to
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sell our products around the world. we understand that the world is changing. unions understand that the world is changing. unions understand that they need to help drive the change, whether it is on the factory floor or in the classroom or in the government office. but unions also know is that the values at the core of the union movement, those don't change. those are the values that have made this country great. that is what the folks trying to undermine your rights don't understand. when union workers agree to pay freezes and pay cuts, they are not doing it to keep their job, but they are doing it to keep their fellow workers and their fellow americans can keep their jobs. when teachers agree to reforms on how schools are run at the same time they are digging into the pockets to buy school
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supplies for those kids, they do so, because they believe every child can learn. they do it because they know that something that those who seek to divide us don't understand, we are all in this together. that's why those crowds came out to support you in madison and in columbus. we are one nation. we are one people. we will rise and we will fall together. and anyone who does not believe it should come here to detroit. it is like the commercial says, this is the city that has been to heck and back. and while there are a lot of challenges here, i see a city that is coming back. you ask somebody here if times are tough, they say, yeah, it's tough, but we are tougher.
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look at what we are doing to overcome it. look at what we are doing to rebuild and reinvent and redefine what it means to live in this great city. look at our parents who were the first to catch a bus to earn a degree and look at the workers on the lines who are building the best cars in the world. look at our artists who are revamping the city and the young people who are thinking up new ways to make a difference that we never dreamed of. look at how we look out for one another, and that is why we chose detroit as one of the cities that we are helping to revitalize in one of the strong cities and strong communities initiative. we're teaming up with everybody, mayors, local officials and you name it boosting the economic development, rebuilding your communities the best way which is a way that involves you. because despite all that has changed here, and all of the
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work that lies ahead, this is still a city where men clapped in the factories and the city that built the best middle-class that the world has ever known and the city where women rolled up the sleeves and built a democracy to free the world and a city where the great american industry has come back to life and the industry of tomorrow are taki taking root, and this is the city where people bold and will gather together to write the next proud chapter in our history. that is why i wanted to be here with you today. because for every cynic and every naysayer running around talking about how our best days are behind us, for everybody who keeps going around saying that "no, we can't" and for everybody who can always find a reason why
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we can't rebuild america, i meet americans everyday who in the face of impossible odds they have a different belief. they believe we can. you believe we can. yes, times are tough and we have been through tough times before. i don't know about you, but i'm not scared of tough times. i'm not scared of tough times, because i know that we are all going to be marching together and working together and rebuilding together and i know that we don't quit. i know we don't give up our dreams and settle for something less. we roll up ourleevese sleeves, remember a fundamental truth of our system, we are strong when we are united and strong on all cylinders and the union movement is going to be in the center of
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it. if you are committed to making sure that the person standing next to you and their kids and their grand kids and never the city and in this country can unleash his or her potential, if you work hard and play by the rules, you will get a fair shake and get a fair shot. that is the kcountry i want for my kids. that is the country you want for your kids. that is the country we are going to build together. thank you very much, detroit. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. president obama there in detroit, michigan, addressing a group of union workers there on this labor day and quickly here, i want to bring in the panel. jonathan alter, i will start with you. that sounded like a pep talk at times and other times it sounded like a campaign speech as well. >> absolutely, it was both. i thought it was actually quite effective. you know, people have been dumping on the president a lot all summer long for some good
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reasons, but anybody who thinks that he has lost his mojo should listen to that speech. >> jonathan alter, thank you. that has to be the last word here. karen and joe, here, i know, we are out of time. rest assured there is a lot more over the next few days with the president addressing that joint session of congress thursday night and you can catch it live right here on msnbc. i'm craig melvin and thank you for watching the special msnbc labor day coverage. it is a big week here starting wednesday with nbc news co-hosting that next gop republican debate, and again, that debate is going to be moderated by brian williams and politico's jonathan harris, and we will see you tomorrow. the front-row tickets you never bought. the lucrative investment you never made. the exotic vacation you never took. but there's one opportunity that's too good to miss. the lexus golden opportunity sales event, with exceptional values on the lexus rx. but only until september 6th.
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